States Of Guernsey And Condor To Share Cost Of New Vessel

Both parties will put £3M into the deal to buy the 'Islander' ferry to ensure the supply chain to the islands is secure.

Condor announced in March that it planned to buy the 'ro-pax' ship, subsequently named Islander, to boost its conventional ferry fleet.

But it's now emerged that the Policy and Resources Committee was made aware of 'significant challenges' that meant the deal was unlikely to be completed as planned.

As a result, the Civil Contingencies Authority met to discuss the risks, and it directed P&R to take steps to ensure the supply chain to the islands was secure.

The new deal will see both Condor and the States putting in £3M each, from which the States will get a return.

In addition, a £26M loan to Condor will come from the States bond. That sum is repayable over 10 years.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache chairs the Civil Contingencies Authority and says he wants to be open with people:

"I can confirm that the CCA was convened on Thursday 23 March and Monday 27 March in order to consider a critical matter that was time-sensitive, and therefore required the use of the CCA's powers to ensure appropriate action was taken promptly to secure the purchase of the additional vessel recently announced by Condor, in order to mitigate potential critical risks to our supply chain."

At this stage, Condor's arrangement to operate into Guernsey beyond 2025 hasn't been agreed, although deputy Peter Ferbrache says there have been numerous discussions between the States of both islands, and Condor.

Condor’s CEO, John Napton, says the ferry deal is good news for the Islands:

"It supports the three strands of the local economies, lifeline freight, connectivity for Islanders and inbound tourism, and is an important step in showing our long-term commitment to improving sea links."

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